Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Christmas Dream: part 2 10-30-08

I added a few details to the work last Tuesday. Slowly but surely my little Clara is coming to life. This is still in the rough stages but we are getting there. There is so much going on in my head right now that I want to put into this work. I think I have limited myself with the size of this (11 by 14). Maybe larger next time! I want to add at least another rat and possible a third and I want to add more to the background. Clara still needs a lot of refining but that will come in stages. I am working on 300 lb watercolor paper (arches). I love this paper. It will hold up to most of my work. I can get it super wet and saturated and it holds its shape.
On another note...I have been given a reprieve. My gallery show will not be until January (I hope). There was a mix up in scheduling. Part of me is disappointed because I do have some pieces interpreting the Nutcracker ( 3 pieces 11 by 14), Clara is one of them. The other part of me is relieved because I am living the Nutcracker with my kids through Christmas. It is very frantic getting them back and forth from rehearsals, both scheduled and unscheduled. And the homework! I hate it! There does not seem time to just enjoy the holidays. It is just one big jumble. Sigh...I need to breathe.
PS Happy Halloween...We are having a party here...What was I thinking?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Christmas Dream in progress...very roughed in. 10-24-08

As I work on my latest mixed media and collage painting, I thought that I would continue to document my work in progress. I actually enjoy looking at an artists work in progress because some of the layers are revealed as the creative process unfolds. The working title for this piece is "Christmas Dream." But that may change. This is very rough right now. Things are still a bit wonky (to borrow a word my friend Undaunted uses) For example: Clara's hand is off as is her arm...hopefully that can be "fixed" when I get to the crayon stage. She obviously is no where near finished. More background elements need to be added and no doubt the colors will change in the background. I also want to add more texture in Clara's dress and perhaps the background too. The picture I copied from is a photo of my Claire when she was maybe 9 years old. I drew her on a sketch pad, changing elements of her clothes. She was wearing a warm up jacket. Then I transfered my drawing using good old tracing paper. It has a resemblance. The dress Claire is wearing is the actual dress that Clara wears in the Nutcracker as performed in Woodstock, Illinois annually. I am hoping to finish her next week which will be a week before my show. I have some serious odds and ends to tie up before the getting my framing supplies in order and printing out cards (title, descriptions, price, contact info) to affix under my works. I much prefer the creative process...

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month and breast cancer victims, I finished a found art theme finally called "Have Faith." Faith is something women must have when confronted with this terrible cancer. We must have faith that a cure will be found, we must have faith that we will survive this beast, and we must have faith that God will carry us through the worst of it. For all those fighting breast cancer, have faith...there are many who are praying for you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

She Bowed for Clara: Finished 10-14-08

As I stare at this finished work, I fell like my style is evolving again. Yes, and I think it is a good thing. I would like to say that I am growing, least a little. My portraits are a tad more realistic and reveal more of how I am feeling. The small dragonfly was included in deference to a wonderful ballet instructior at Mrs. Svalander school. She has danced the Arabian number on and off for many years at our local venue. And we will be treated to another performance this year. I can't wait. This portrait looks nothing like her but it has her grace and elegance. The writing says: "And then a mysterious woman danced for me, so sensual and magical. When she was done, she bowed to me. She was so beautiful. "

And so it is time to move onto a new portrait. I want to interpret Clara from the Judith Svalander production of the annual Nutcracker. I want to use my own Claire as a model. I found an old photo of her dressed as a party child from the opening act. She is maybe 8 or 9. The original Clara from the E.T.A. Hoffman's book "The Nutcracker and Mouse King," was quite young...12 or 13: I so love this profile of Claire so I think I will enjoy sketching it. I am hoping one day she will be Clara in the annual production. This is one way to will that. The piece is starting to come together in my brain. I want to get into Clara's dreams...experience how frightening the mice were, experience the magic of the Christmas Eve party and the mystery of Uncle Drosselmyer. I hope I can convey that in paint. I also want to add some of the magic I feel every time I go to the Nutcracker. I would say I have been to my share over 12 years!


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Found Art Tuesday 10-6-08: La Virgen

As I work on my larger pieces, I tend to get a little antsy waiting for things to dry. My studio always looks like a hurricane (category 5) hit it and so I will often pick up pieces of this and that and try to assemble them into quick ATCs (artists trading cards). These are often found art Tuesday items. It is really a good exercise because I give myself different challenges. This one was timed... five minutes to be exact. Sometimes the challenges have to do with color schemes, themes, drawing, etc... The humble ATC is a good venue for experiments and my goofy self imposed challenges. I left this one at a local coffee haunt. I think I will do something along Halloween or Dia de los muertes next.

And I just noticed a new widget or gadget on this blog. We can become followers of our favorite blogs. So cool. I was surprised to see that I had a follower. Thank you UNDAUNTED! Now I have to figure out how I can follow my favorites.


Saturday, October 04, 2008

Nutcracker Mixed Media work: Arabian interpretation

I have a little over three weeks before I hang my next show. I was so hoping to finish two more new paintings. Unfortunately I spent most of my September "art" time working on a couple of logos and some volunteer work for our local library. Now it is crunch time. I really wanted to do a few more Nutcracker pieces as companions to my Snow Queen. I just started my interpretation of the Arabian piece from the ballet. This dance is very sensual and has an aire of mystery associated with it. The soloist is very self assured and alluring. I love the feel of this dance and have always wanted to pour my own creativity into a mixed media piece. Here she is in her humble beginnings. I have maybe 6 more working hours on her and then I think she will be ready to "clean up."